Mediation Process

Mediation Process – How does it work?

Most people have never been to mediation before, so it’s very normal to be a bit confused about how it will work.  The mediation process at Annabel Varvel & Associates, Family Mediators is:

1. You contact us
We have a no-obligation 10 minute phone conversation with you to see if mediation is the right process for your situation.  If it is, then we make an appointment for an intake session.

2. Intake
This is an appointment between you and one of our mediators.  It usually lasts 1 hour and is done over the phone or face to face.  The purpose of this appointment is for us to obtain information about:

  • the history of your relationship with your ex-partner
  • your current family situation (children, financial, property etc)
  •  the issues and options you wish to discuss in mediation
  •  the appropriateness of mediation to resolve your issues

The cost of an intake session is $150.

3. Invitation to the other person
After you have done your intake session, if your ex-partner hasn’t already agreed to coming to mediation with us, we will discuss with you the best way to invite the other person to the mediation process.  This usually involves us making both phone and written contact with them.

4. Intake with other person
Assuming the other person wishes to participate, we will conduct an intake session with the other person.  As with the initiating person, these intakes can be done either in person or by phone and will take up to 1 hour. The cost of this intake session is $150.

5. Pre-mediation/conflict coaching (optional)

If you would like to be in the best position to mediate well, you might like to consider doing a 1-on-1 coaching session with one of our experienced mediators.   In this session we would:

  •  help you define the issues that need attention and clarify where they have come from.
  • develop ideas and strategies for negotiation and alert you to the need to gather appropriate information about a subject before the mediation.
  • give you strategies to keep you focussed on obtaining the best possible outcomes in your mediation.

Sessions are completely confidential and private, quite apart from the initial interview with your FDR mediator and cost $150ph.

6. Mediation
We will make arrangements with each of you as to when, where and how the mediation will be conducted.  Our standard mediation will run for 3 hours (unless legally assisted).   It is common that people, particularly with both children and property issues to discuss, may require 2-3 separate mediation sessions to resolve all issues.  If you are legally assisted, we usually run our mediations by the day.

Co-mediation: it is worth considering co-mediation as they can provide the benefit of ‘2 heads are better than 1’.  Usually a co-mediation would be a male/female combination . Co-mediation also offers the benefit of different experience and backgrounds of our mediators and whilst a little more expensive, can be an effective method of mediation

The process for the mediation itself will be discussed in detail at your intake session, however, essentially:

  • we provide both people with an opportunity to tell the mediator the topics you wish to discuss eg times the children will see each parent, which school your child will go to, how will we spilt our assets and/or debts, who will take the pets etc.
  • we will help you both agree on an Agenda
  • each agenda topic will be discussed in detail together with many options and ideas of how to resolve the conflict
  • any agreements that are reached, will be recorded by the mediator and given to each of you at the end of the mediation.

7. If there is no mediation
If your ex-partner does not wish to participate in mediation with us you have a number of options:

  • participate in our FDR-1 program
  • try mediation at another time when the other party may be more ready
  • contact a lawyer to get further legal advice
  • request a s60I Certificate to enable you to commence proceedings in court for children’s matters. (no certificates are required for property matters).
  • try another mediation organisation eg Family Relationship Centre

8. After the mediation
If you reach agreement in the mediation, the mediator will record any agreements you make and give each of you a copy at the end of the mediation.  If you both wish to, you can take it to a solicitor to have it drafted as Consent Orders and lodged with the Family Court of Australia.

If there is no agreement reached at mediation, you have a number of options:

  • contact a lawyer to get further legal advice
  • participate in our FDR-1 program
  • try mediation at another time eg in another few months when you might both be in a better place to mediate
  • request a s60I Certificate to enable you to commence proceedings in court for children’s matters. (no certificates are required for property).